Packing Hacks to Get the Most Out of Your Luggage

September 21 / Posted by Christi Hintz

Space is tight as a travel nurse. After all, you’ll be trying to take everything you need for a few months on a plane or in a car. You’ll want to be selective about what you bring so that you aren’t overwhelmed by the amount of luggage you have to transport. But you can also take advantage of the space you do have by packing your items as efficiently as possible.


We scoured the internet for clever packing hacks to help you stuff as much as you can into your luggage. Here are a few of our favorites.


Don’t Fold, Roll!


Clothes take up a lot of space in your suitcase, but they’ll take up a lot less if you fold them properly. And by fold, we mean roll.


It might seem strange to store your clothes in tightly wound coils, but you’ll find that it actually frees up a decent amount of space compared to folding them conventionally, and a whole lot more space compared to just throwing them in! Rumor is this is how flight attendants pack their bags- and if people who travel THAT frequently are doing it, you know that it’s a good choice. Check out this tutorial from WikiHow on how to fold different kinds of clothing items!


Plan Versatile Outfits


Packing fewer clothes doesn’t mean wearing the same outfit every day. A well planned capsule wardrobe gives you plenty of options for switching things up throughout the week without packing your entire wardrobe for the trip. Carefully planning what you choose to bring will mean less headaches, fewer things to keep track of, and more room in your suitcase for other things.


Need some help? Check out this post by The Golden Girl about her “Carryon Capsule Wardrobe” for inspiration on what to pack for your adventure.


Work With Your Clothes, Not Against Them.


It’s not worth the space you’ll save by squishing down your more structured items and ending up with a nightmare when you get where you’re going. Instead, work with the shape of your clothes with these creative ways to save space:


If you’re packing collared shirts, roll up a belt and tuck it inside the collar to maintain the shape of the collar.


Instead of squishing bras to get them to lay flat, tuck underwear inside the cups to utilize that space while maintaining the shape of the bra.


If you’re packing a hat, fill it with clothes or accessories before placing it flat on the bottom of your suitcase. Pack around the hat.


Need a Little Extra Help? There Are Organizers For That.


If you need a bit more structure in your life, there are many products available that can help you reign in your suitcase. And since you’ll be traveling a lot as a travel nurse, they may be worth investing in if you think they’ll help. There are traveller organizers for everything from your toiletries to your electronics, and there are a variety of travel cubes that help you organize your suitcase.


We want to hear from you- what have been some of your biggest packing challenges? Do you have any hacks for getting the most out of the room you have available? Leave your own recommendations in the comments below and help out a fellow travel nurse.

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